Patacones are the Colombian equivalent of Caribbean tostones—double-fried green plantains. Just like cooking a french fry, you start with a starchy chunk of green plantain, cook it once at a low temperature, then cook it a second time at a higher temperature to crisp it up. The difference is that with patacones, you smash them into a flat disk in between. This shape makes them ideal for loading up with toppings. In this version, I go with black beans (canned are fine), roasted poblano peppers, slices of creamy avocado, and a few pickled red onions.
- Yield:Makes about 24 fried plantains, serving 4 to 6
- Active time: 45 minutes
- Total time:45 minutes
- 2 quarts vegetable oil
- 4 green plantains, peeled and cut into 1-inch segments
- 2 poblano peppers
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained
- 1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles
- 1 to 2 avocados, thinly sliced
- Kosher salt
- 1 batch pickled red onions
- 3 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro
In a large wok or Dutch oven, heat oil to 300°F. Add plantains and cook until pierced easily with a knife, but not browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.
Place poblano chiles directly over the flame of a gas burner or as close as possible to the broiler element of an electric oven. Cook, turning occasionally, until deeply charred and blacked on all sides and completely tender, about 8 minutes. Wrap with foil and set aside.
Combine black beans and chopped chiles in a small bowl. Press with back of form to mash lightly.
Carefully peel poblanos under cold running water (or if you can, peel them without rinsing them). Discard stem an seeds and slice flesh into thin strips.
Smash each plantain under a metal can to about 1/4-inch thick. Reheat oil to 400°F. Add plantains (working in batches if necessary). Adjust heat to maintain a temperature of 350°F to 375°F. Fry, agitating occasionally, until plantains are golden brown and crisp, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and season with kosher salt.
To serve, spread each plantain with some bean mixture, a slice of avocado, a few strips of pepper, some pickled red onions (along with a jalapeño or serrano slice from the pickles), and a sprinkle of cilantro.